7.1/10
78,756
521 user 155 critic

Monster's Ball (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 March 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer

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After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director:

Marc Forster
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Popularity
2,657 ( 371)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Hank Grotowski
Taylor Simpson Taylor Simpson ... Lucille
Gabrielle Witcher Gabrielle Witcher ... Betty
Heath Ledger ... Sonny Grotowski
Amber Rules Amber Rules ... Vera
Peter Boyle ... Buck Grotowski
Charles Cowan Jr. Charles Cowan Jr. ... Willie Cooper
Taylor LaGrange Taylor LaGrange ... Darryl Cooper
Yasiin Bey ... Ryrus Cooper (as Mos Def)
Anthony Bean Anthony Bean ... Dappa Smith
Francine Segal ... Georgia Ann Paynes
John McConnell ... Harvey Shoonmaker
Marcus Lyle Brown ... Phil Huggins
Milo Addica ... Tommy Roulaine
Leah Loftin ... Booter
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Storyline

Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pasado nos condena See more »

Filming Locations:

Laplace, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$174,109, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,252,964, 2 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Queen Latifah was considered for the role of Leticia. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 29 mins) The cigarette that Leticia gives Buck disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Hank Grotowski: I wanna take care of you.
Leticia Musgrove: Good. Cuz' I need to be taken care of.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Sam, Austin, Gabrielle. Scott Lambert is thanked twice. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian DVD release is the uncut version which carries a label saying "explicit version: not seen in cinemas" See more »

Connections

Referenced in 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Man
(2001)
Performed by The Jayhawks
Written by The Jayhawks
Published by Abstinthe Music/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Co.
Courtesy of American Recordings
Produced by Asche & Spencer (as Asche and Spencer)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Southern Gothic - dark and disturbing
13 January 2007 | by ElFabulosoSee all my reviews

Monster's Ball is a compelling film of family conflict, rage and redemption. Halle Berry throws herself into this role like a prizefighter who leaves it all in the ring, and wins by unanimous decision. Billy Bob Thornton gives an electrifying performance as a man grappling with his demons and wanting his better self to emerge victorious.

This movie is a study in ambiguity. The characters are complex with human imperfection, no one (with the exception of Hank's father, played by Peter Boyle) emerging as completely likable or entirely bad. Hank's son played by Heath Ledger fulfills the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and it's never clear that anyone truly gets whats coming to them.

I'm not sure one should read too much into this movie as a study of attitudes towards race in today's America, but as a portrayal of human frailty and the continuing quest for hope and optimism, Monster's Ball is a can't-miss film experience.


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